State of Florida
Good Samaritan Laws
Fla. Stat. Ann. §768.13 Good Samaritan Act; immunity from civil liability.
Fla. Stat. Ann. §768.1325 Cardiac Arrest Survival Act; immunity from civil liability.
Fla. Stat. Ann. §401.2915 Automated external defibrillators.
- Provides immunity for rescuers
- Encourages/requires CPR & AED training.
Title XLV - Torts
Chapter 768 - Negligence
768.13 Good Samaritan Act; immunity from civil liability.--
- This act shall be known and cited as the "Good Samaritan Act."
- Any person, including those licensed to practice medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment either in direct response to emergency situations related to and arising out of a public health emergency declared pursuant to s. 381.00315, a state of emergency which has been declared pursuant to s. 252.36 or at the scene of an emergency outside of a hospital, doctor's office, or other place having proper medical equipment, without objection of the injured victim or victims thereof, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
- Any hospital licensed under chapter 395, any employee of such hospital working in a clinical area within the facility and providing patient care, and any person licensed to practice medicine who in good faith renders medical care or treatment necessitated by a sudden, unexpected situation or occurrence resulting in a serious medical condition demanding immediate medical attention, for which the patient enters the hospital through its emergency room or trauma center, or necessitated by a public health emergency declared pursuant to s. 381.00315 shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such medical care or treatment unless such damages result from providing, or failing to provide, medical care or treatment under circumstances demonstrating a reckless disregard for the consequences so as to affect the life or health of another.
- The immunity provided by this paragraph does not apply to damages as a result of any act or omission of providing medical care or treatment:>
- Which occurs after the patient is stabilized and is capable of receiving medical treatment as a nonemergency patient, unless surgery is required as a result of the emergency within a reasonable time after the patient is stabilized, in which case the immunity provided by this paragraph applies to any act or omission of providing medical care or treatment which occurs prior to the stabilization of the patient following the surgery; or
- Unrelated to the original medical emergency.
- For purposes of this paragraph, "reckless disregard" as it applies to a given health care provider rendering emergency medical services shall be such conduct which a health care provider knew or should have known, at the time such services were rendered, would be likely to result in injury so as to affect the life or health of another, taking into account the following to the extent they may be present;
- The extent or serious nature of the circumstances prevailing.>
- The lack of time or ability to obtain appropriate consultation.
- The lack of a prior patient-physician relationship.
- The inability to obtain an appropriate medical history of the patient.
- The time constraints imposed by coexisting emergencies.
- Every emergency care facility granted immunity under this paragraph shall accept and treat all emergency care patients within the operational capacity of such facility without regard to ability to pay, including patients transferred from another emergency care facility or other health care provider pursuant to Pub. L. No. 99-272, s. 9121. The failure of an emergency care facility to comply with this subparagraph constitutes grounds for the department to initiate disciplinary action against the facility pursuant to chapter 395.
- Any person who is licensed to practice medicine, while acting as a staff member or with professional clinical privileges at a nonprofit medical facility, other than a hospital licensed under chapter 395, or while performing health screening services, shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of care or treatment provided gratuitously in such capacity as a result of any act or failure to act in such capacity in providing or arranging further medical treatment, if such person acts as a reasonably prudent person licensed to practice medicine would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
- Any person, including those licensed to practice veterinary medicine, who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment to an injured animal at the scene of an emergency on or adjacent to a roadway shall not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment or as a result of any act or failure to act in providing or arranging further medical treatment where the person acts as an ordinary reasonably prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.
Title XLV - Torts
Chapter 768 - Neglegence
768.1325 Cardiac Arrest Survival Act; immunity from civil liability.--
- This section may be cited as the "Cardiac Arrest Survival Act."
- As used in this section:
- "Perceived medical emergency" means circumstances in which the behavior of an individual leads a reasonable person to believe that the individual is experiencing a life-threatening medical condition that requires an immediate medical response regarding the heart or other cardiopulmonary functioning of the individual.
- "Automated external defibrillator device" means a defibrillator device that:
- Is commercially distributed in accordance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
- Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation, and is capable of determining without intervention by the user of the device whether defibrillation should be performed.
- Upon determining that defibrillation should be performed, is able to deliver an electrical shock to an individual.
- "Harm" means damage or loss of any and all types, including, but not limited to, physical, nonphysical, economic, noneconomic, actual, compensatory, consequential, incidental, and punitive damages or losses.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, and except as provided in subsection (4), any person who uses or attempts to use an automated external defibrillator device on a victim of a perceived medical emergency, without objection of the victim of the perceived medical emergency, is immune from civil liability for any harm resulting from the use or attempted use of such device. In addition, any person who acquired the device, including, but not limited to, a community association organized under chapter 617, chapter 718, chapter 719, chapter 720, chapter 721, or chapter 723, is immune from such liability, if the harm was not due to the failure of such acquirer of the device to:
- Notify the local emergency medical services medical director of the most recent placement of the device within a reasonable period of time after the device was placed;
- Properly maintain and test the device; or
- Provide appropriate training in the use of the device to an employee or agent of the acquirer when the employee or agent was the person who used the device on the victim, except that such requirement of training does not apply if:
- The employee or agent was not an employee or agent who would have been reasonably expected to use the device; or
- The period of time elapsing between the engagement of the person as an employee or agent and the occurrence of the harm, or between the acquisition of the device and the occurrence of the harm in any case in which the device was acquired after engagement of the employee or agent, was not a reasonably sufficient period in which to provide the training.
- Immunity under subsection (3) does not apply to a person if:
- The harm involved was caused by that person's willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless disregard or misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the victim who was harmed;
- The person is a licensed or certified health professional who used the automated external defibrillator device while acting within the scope of the license or certification of the professional and within the scope of the employment or agency of the professional;
- The person is a hospital, clinic, or other entity whose primary purpose is providing health care directly to patients, and the harm was caused by an employee or agent of the entity who used the device while acting within the scope of the employment or agency of the employee or agent;
- The person is an acquirer of the device who leased the device to a health care entity, or who otherwise provided the device to such entity for compensation without selling the device to the entity, and the harm was caused by an employee or agent of the entity who used the device while acting within the scope of the employment or agency of the employee or agent; or
- The person is the manufacturer of the device.
- This section does not establish any cause of action. This section does not require that an automated external defibrillator device be placed at any building or other location or require an acquirer to make available on its premises one or more employees or agents trained in the use of the device.
- An insurer may not require an acquirer of an automated external defibrillator device which is a community association organized under chapter 617, chapter 718, chapter 719, chapter 720, chapter 721, or chapter 723 to purchase medical malpractice liability coverage as a condition of issuing any other coverage carried by the association, and an insurer may not exclude damages resulting from the use of an automated external defibrillator device from coverage under a general liability policy issued to an association.
Title XXIX - Public Health
Chapter 401 - Medical Telecommunications and Transportation
401.2915 Automated external defibrillators.--
It is the intent of the Legislature that an automated external defibrillator may be used by any person for the purpose of saving the life of another person in cardiac arrest. In order to ensure public health and safety:
- All persons who use an automated external defibrillator must obtain appropriate training, to include completion of a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or successful completion of a basic first aid course that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, and demonstrated proficiency in the use of an automated external defibrillator.
- Any person or entity in possession of an automated external defibrillator is encouraged to register with the local emergency medical services medical director the existence and location of the automated external defibrillator.
- Any person who uses an automated external defibrillator shall activate the emergency medical services system as soon as possible upon use of the automated external defibrillator.
- Each local and state law enforcement vehicle may carry an automated external defibrillator.
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